When Alberto goes home to visit his family in a remote part of Timor-Leste his family kills a chicken to celebrate with him. During his childhood his family did not have sufficient food to eat and his two younger siblings died. With assistance from Alberto’s grandparents, his father started a garden, and eventually after the Indonesian Army left Timor-Leste in 1999 after the vote for Independence the family started raising animals and growing coffee, corn and beans that they could eat and sell for their income.
Alberto, 26 who is in his final year of engineering, was one of four young people who were selected by the O’Sullivan Centre in conjunction with Juventude ba Dezenvolvimentu Nasional (JDN) in Timor-Leste to spend two weeks in Adelaide in May. Alberto talked about how his family, like the majority of people in Timor-Leste, work in agriculture, the challenges of climate change and the introduction of improved agriculture methods to increase the quality and quantity of production. He was accompanied by Corry, Paula and Akito, who each prepared presentations about their lives as young people in Timor-Leste. Corry and Paula spoke each morning to senior students at St Aloysius College (SAC) while Akito and Alberto were at Christian Brothers College (CBC) in Wakefield Street, Adelaide.
Each afternoon the young people met with people and organisations who are working on similar priority areas as JDN, including Taunondi Aboriginal Vocational College, the Community Foodies, a community nutrition education program, the Working Women’s Centre. They were also shown around Adelaide University and participated in the Restoration of Independence celebration. Alberto and Akito also went with their homestay hosts to see the Crows defeat the Western Bulldogs!!!
The President of the O’Sullivan Centre, John Bonnice met with the team from Timor-Leste, i.e. Corry, Paula, Akito, Alberto, Bernadette McEvoy and Jenny Lauritsen and was extremely interested to hear about all the things that they are doing together to provide opportunities for other young people in Timor-Leste.
This amazing opportunity was possible because of funding received by the O’Sullivan Centre from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide Charitable Trust and Saint Aloysius College, as well as in-kind support from the O’Sullivan Centre and the two colleges.
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